small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Chinese food

Mooncakes by Mail

A couple of years ago, I was happy and proud that we made our own mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival. From scratch. By hand. 100% homemade. Like Martha Stewart, but in Asia and without felony charges. They were pretty tasty and… Continue Reading →

To Win Chinese New Year, You Must Master Snacks

If you want to host a Chinese New Year’s party, you’ll find plenty of tips and how-to’s online about what dishes to serve, what decorations to use, different Spring Festival greetings to use, how to accumulate enough fireworks to start… Continue Reading →

Today Marks 10 Years in China

Today is the 10th anniversary of our family’s arrival in China. It came and went with much less fanfare than it would have received had I been more prepared. There probably would have been fireworks. But I did pause to… Continue Reading →

What in the Middle Kingdom? Tofu marshmallows

If you haven’t yet visited the tofu section of your market or supermarket, you are in for a real treat. Tofu here in China is not just white blocks of tastelessness sloshing around in sealed containers like it is in… Continue Reading →

Cold cucumber buckwheat noodles

This is a little liangban 凉拌 I put together when I had limited ingredients in the house and little desire to run to the market. That sometimes is how I come up with some really nice dishes. As they say,… Continue Reading →

How to cook frozen jiaozi

Frozen jiaozi (速冻饺子) are some of the only packaged convenience food available in small town China. It’s nice to keep a bag in the freezer “just in case” since it’s not like I’ve got canned soup or boxes of mac… Continue Reading →

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